“What is the use of accepting a guru?”

“What is the use of accepting a guru?”

by | May 15, 2018 | ACARYA SERIES, Guru Tattva, Srila Prabhupada, Uncategorized

Excerpt from a lecture on Bhagavad-gita 13.8-12
by Srila Prabhupada – Mumbai, 5 October 1973

[… from 03:45 min onwards]

One cannot become a devotee personally. Just like some rascals say, “What is the use of accepting guru?” Of course, they have got very bad experience. But who is ācārya? Ācārya means one who has received the Vedic knowledge through the paramparā system. Evaṁ paramparā-prāptam imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ (BG 4.2). He is ācārya. Ācārya cannot be manufactured, self-made. No. He must come down from the disciplic succession. He is ācārya. You have to approach such ācārya who is coming in disciplic succession. Ācāryavan puruṣo veda. One who is under the shelter of ācārya, he knows things. So Kṛṣṇa recommends also here that if you actually want to become in knowledge, if you want to have real knowledge, then you must worship ācārya. Ācāryopāsanam. This is Vedic system. Tad vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum evābhigacchet (MU 1.2.12).

It is not that “If I like, I can go to a guru; if I don’t like, I can learn the books at home and learn everything.” No, that is not possible.

‘Practically… Just like if you purchase some medical book and study at home, and if you begin to practice, you will be called a quack.’

You will not be recognized by the government. You will not get the practitioner’s registration. You will not. Unless you have passed through the medical college, your medical examination, you will not be accepted, even if you say that “I have read all the books.” Similarly, if you simply think that “I have read…” As we see generally, “Oh, I have read Bhagavad-gītā hundred times.” But you ask him what is Kṛṣṇa, he cannot say. Because he has not approached the ācārya. This is the difficulty. He may…, he might have read Bhagavad-gītā a thousand times, but he will not understand a single word, because he has not approached.

Therefore Vedic literature says, tad vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum evābhigacchet (MU 1.2.12). Abhigacchet. This word is used when the sense is “you must.” This is vidhi-lin form of verb, gacchet, abhigacchet. You must. There is no excuse. You cannot learn. Tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta jijñāsuḥ śreya uttamam (SB 11.3.21). If you want to know uttamam subject matter… Ut, ut means udgatam, transcending. Tamam means this material world. This material world is tama, darkness. But if you are interested in the matter which is transcendental to this material world, that means spiritual world, then tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta, you must surrender to a guru. Jijñāsuḥ śreya uttamam. Not ordinary jijñāsuḥ. Just like we go to the market, “What is the rate of this share?” “What is the rate of rice?” “What is the rate of ḍāl?” Not that kind of jijBrahma jijñāsuḥ. Athāto brahma jijñāsā. This human life is meant for inquiring about Brahman, not this rice, ḍāl, share market. No.


SOURCE: vanisource.org


  1. dayanidhi

    What comment? , only Jai GuruDev

    • Raghava Pandit das

      Best comment 😉 .. thank you Dayanidhi ji

  2. Manjumedha

    Crystal clear. What else needs to be said?

    • Raghava Pandit das

      Yes, As clear as the bright blue sky.

      But as Srila Prabhupada says, “Of course, they have got very bad experience.”

      So that may explain why people prefer to manufacture their own philosophy when it comes to guru-tattva, and spoil the whole thing. What can be done …?


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